Support » Plugin: Photonic Gallery & Lightbox for Flickr, SmugMug, Google Photos & Others » Some Google Photos albums appear, some don’t

  • Resolved markdj57


    I’ve created multiple shared albums in exactly the same way and some appear in the photonic helper and others don’t appear. Any pointers as to how to overcome this frustrating problem?

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  • Plugin Author Sayontan


    In the past 4 weeks this is the third instance of people reporting issues with shared albums, so my guess is that the problem originates from Google’s end. I have responded to the previous threads here and here, but let me try to provide some more clarity.

    First, some background. Google announced in Feb 2016 that it was shutting down Picasa. Surprisingly, for API users they didn’t provide any updates on when they would provide a new API for Google Photos. Instead people had to continue using the Picasa API. There were multiple limitations with this, but in Photonic I managed to get around almost all of them, and all things such as shared albums etc. worked fine.

    Then, finally, just around 2 months back in May 2018 (more than 2 years after shutting down Picasa) Google launched the Google Photos API. It is my conjecture, but I believe that roughly at this time the Picasa API started breaking for shared albums, maybe because of changes they made to the foundations. Curiously though, the breakage is sporadic – some albums show up all the time, some show up after a time lag of a few hours (or even days), and some don’t show up at all. You yourself seem to be experiencing the first and third among these.

    Unfortunately there is no way around this with the Picasa API, which Photonic uses. To wit, if you go to<your-user-name&gt;?kind=album&prettyprint=true (replace <your-user-name> with your user name), if you see the album listed there, Photonic can pull it, otherwise it cannot.

    I am already working on the next release of the plugin that was supposed to have 2 major features – an easier, more visual way to insert the shortcode, and a switch to the Google Photos API. The first activity is actually very time-consuming, so I might put that on the back-burner and move up the timeline for the Google Photos API switch.

    As I have pointed out in my response in one of the threads above, API changes are seismic in nature and require back-breaking amounts of testing because I have to ensure that existing users don’t end up with blank displays for Picasa. So I cannot commit to a timeline for now, but stay assured that it is something I am actively pursuing.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Sayontan.
    Plugin Author Sayontan


    A quick addendum to what I wrote in the above: the Google Photos API is currently in “Developer Preview”. To quote from their website:

    During the developer preview, the quota for requests to the Library API is 2,500 requests per project per day. In the production launch of the Library API, the quota for requests will be increased to 10,000 requests per project per day. Requests to access media bytes (like loading a photo or video) are not counted against the limit.

    Essentially what this means is that this API cannot be called more than 2500 times a day for now, and the limit will go up to 10000 when they move to production mode. When will they move to production mode? They are normally tight-lipped about such things; Gmail was in beta for years before moving into general availability, but for this library there is a cost benefit to them via the partner program, so they might move faster.

    In the meanwhile, let’s say I deliver the code, and you start using it. You will have to then decide judiciously whether to stick to the Picasa mode of Photonic or go to the upcoming Google Photos, or keep both. Essentially you will need to factor in things like number of visits to your website and your specific photo pages.

    Plugin Author Sayontan


    I have released version 1.68 with support for the new Google Photos API. See here and here for the relevant documentation.

    Hopefully this will let you see the shared albums. Let me know if you run into any issues.

    Thread Starter markdj57


    Thank you so much. It’s working great, a bit of a setup process but the documentation is great.

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